- This topic has 9 replies, 5 voices, and was last updated 7 years, 1 month ago by Anonymous.
October 19, 2016 at 4:48 am #118482
In the last year I have been unwell with an underactive thyroid and chronic fatigue. With it my anxiety returned.
Last September having yet more blood tests I had a panic attack in the nurses room. I wasn’t well that day, I was kept waiting 45 minutes and by the time I got in there I had a huge panic attack as she pulled the needle out I went all hot in my face and it triggered a panic attack. I have had agoraphobia before and that need to flee and run to my safe place, it hit when i was in the room but everytime I sat up to leave I went all dizzy, hot, shaking, couldn’t feel my arm and I freaked out I’d faint. I was sobbing and couldn’t leave. The nurse hugged me and eventually she helped me stand up and she walked me to the main doors holding me. I was mortified and since then can’t do appointments, I’ve avoided them.
In December my health was taking a nose dive, my GP came to the house and wanted to run bloods. I let him, I panicked a bit, my face went hot and I was crying but he helped me through it. Since then I have avoided appointments and blood tests. I have gone into this little bubble of self protection and cut the world out. I was so ill with chronic fatigue and weakness, I felt so ill I just cut the world out and spoke to my GP over the phone. It’s like I went into denial I was ill and for the last year have just tried to cope with this level of fatigue and illness myself.
In August my GP came out to see me, my fatigue had suddenly worsened and he came to give me a full check up. He said I needed to increase my thyroxine and he wanted to run a set of bloods on me. It’s 5 tubes worth and he is testing for lupus, arthritis, EBV, iron, full bloods, liver, kidneys, diabetes etc… I have put the test off for the last 7 weeks terrified to do it, one because I expect the nurses room experience to happen again and I just didn’t want to open a can of worms. I haven’t felt well with my fatigue recently and I am terrified it will show something else is wrong with me and it’s taken me a long time to get to where I am now which is mentally a little less anxious and I am getting out more again.
There was always an inner voice in me that made me want the reassurance I was well, and nothing stopped me having the tests, but I never used to panic at my blood tests. I used to also feel this inner voice to do anything for my children as I couldn’t face leaving them. Even that has gone and I fear if I ever found a lump or something I’d not get it checked. That upsets me the most about this, I have lost that instinct to take care of myself for my children. My husband says that’s not true as I have been taking care of myself all year, having therapy for the anxiety that’s returned, eat well, do yoga, meditate and take my medication for my thyroid.
So I have booked the blood test for Friday, my GP told my husband he would come to the house so i am more comfortable and can lie down. He said he completely understands my fear and it’s fine he is doing a home visit. He will be here about 1pm. My mind for weeks has played the movie in my head of me having a panic attack or fainting. I am terrified of it. If i faint it will open a huge can of worms for me as it’s been my fear all year just day to day walking around, due to how fatigued I’ve been. My GP last time made me lie flat and told me I’d be fine lying down which reassured me. I never used to fear fainting, it’s all from the nurses room panic last year where I went so hot and dizzy I felt I’d faint, but I didn’t, she said it was a big panic attack.
I rarely get full on panic attacks so I am not sure how to cope with it. For me as soon as my face goes red and hot that is when panic hits. How can I learn to be ok with that red hot face feeling and not let panic wash over me? I am terrified I will make a fool of myself like I did last year infront of the nurse. Also how can i think more positive about Friday? I keep getting upset and feeling sick with dread. I don’t want to cancel it, I know to come out of this little self protection bubble I’ve made for myself the last 10 months has to be broken, I have to come back into real life and face I need tests, face in life I will need to do things like this, I am human after all.
Any advice apprecaited.
JulieOctober 19, 2016 at 5:01 am #118485InkyParticipant
Don’t be embarrassed. This is SO common it’s almost unbelievable. My dentist told me that a few (!) of his patients would come in with their therapists, friends or meditation tapes.
What I would do is have OTHER people make your doctor appointments for you like a parent or secretary would and hang out with you while the doctor is there. Meditation tapes, darkened room, calming incense, music, candles. Have DH give you a massage right before. Foot rubs are good too. Then when the doctor leaves you have a nice meal and a glass of wine.
Anyone who has been through a panic attack KNOWS how powerful and overwhelming it is. No shame. No embarrassment. None!
InkyOctober 19, 2016 at 5:43 am #118489
Thank you, your reply made me relax and cry 😉
It’s so reassuring to know I am not being silly and this can be pretty normal, so thank you for that.
I said to my husband if I was in a dark room I know I’d cope, so it must be I am embarrassed to show myself panicking. I might just throw a blanket over my head haha!
Thank you I shall try those tools you’ve suggested. I ordered an oil diffuser yesterday and tonight I am going to go and buy some lavender oil to see if it will help calm me.
JulieOctober 19, 2016 at 6:30 am #118490ketzerParticipant
Hmmm. It seems what you are most afraid of is your fear, or rather your reaction to it. It’s sort of a compound fear. If your mind is anything like every other human mind, it is not nearly such a rational place as we all like to think it is. Phobias of all sorts are common. Sometimes their roots can be discovered and dug up (e.g. some social phobias) others are harder nuts to crack (e.g. fear of heights). I am a very rational person and like to think I can reason my way through most anything. Yet when it comes to emotions it just doesn’t work that way. Although thought can help, the cortex is just not in the drivers seat when it comes to emotions. Anyway, my point is perhaps start by accepting you have the phobia, you may have a panic attack, but that is ok, you will get through it and life will go on. What not to accept is any shame about it. It is just one of the things you have to deal with. Others have other things they have to deal with. I read book this a bit back and found the concepts helpful. https://www.thehappinesstrap.com/ I particularly liked the metaphor of walking off the battlefield and letting the war go on without me. Since then there has been quite bit more published regarding the ACT therapy idea. You can probably find what you need on the WWW without buying the book.
Good luck.October 19, 2016 at 10:30 pm #118526KatParticipant
Hello Julie, I hope since you’ve posted this you are feeling better. I hope you know it’s okay to be afraid, and that you are worthy as you are, every panicky, sorrowful part of you. I read some interesting points regarding life that have recently helped me through anxiety. It went something like this…we own nothing. Not our appearance to others, not our relationships, our positions, nor our things. All things are impermanent. We suffer because we try to control, like grappling with the wind and constantly wondering why we haven’t caught it yet. You cannot possess security, not in anything you have. Not in your body which can fail you at any moment, not in how others will see you. So when we’re caught off guard and things fall apart around us we freak out, we want things to be a certain way. But the anguish you feel is good, it’s freeing you from your false sense of security, freeing you from irrational attachment to impermanence. So how can we find peace when nothing is certain in our lives? By knowing we can still love. I more I reflect on it the more I realize that’s the point behind everything. Loving the fleeting gift of life around you that you’re lucky to see, the people who choose everyday to love you, and experiencing the unique wonder that is you, that will free you. That will bring you peace. It will not happen over night, but keep trying to cultivate that love inside you and you will feel better. It’s alright Julie, I love you and I hope my view has helped you some.
-KatOctober 20, 2016 at 5:02 am #118534
You’re right, my fear is of how I will react, panicking and showing myself up but also I am afraid of feeling panic like I did once before.
I have bought the Happiness Trap but never got round to reading it, but I will now, thank you.
JulieOctober 20, 2016 at 5:05 am #118535
Thank you so much for your kind words and that new perspective I will take on.
I do feel I always need to act strong, not show my anxiety and weakness. That is why I am so afraid tomorrow I will have a huge panic attack and show myself up infront of the doctor. He is lovely and kind. I hope I can be strong and get through the panic and find some kind of strength and confidence by putting myself through tomorrow.
JulieOctober 20, 2016 at 9:36 am #118548AnonymousGuest
When you feel your face getting hot, repeat to yourself the thought: I felt this before and it didn’t kill me. I felt it before and survived it. I am feeling it now and I will live to tell about it (here, on your thread) later.
As you feel it, your face getting hot, stay with the feeling, pay attention. Don’t try to escape from the feeling. Notice how your face feels, then notice how different parts of your body feel; then place your attention back to your face and notice: did the feeling change, is it less hot?
anitaOctober 21, 2016 at 2:30 am #118597
Great advice Anita, thank you so much. I shall do my best to try that.
JulieOctober 21, 2016 at 9:52 am #118628AnonymousGuest
This is Friday. I wonder how it went..?